UPDATE: 10.30am September 16, Dubai Municipality has advised that protocols for restaurants remain unchanged since June 18

Dubai Municipality and the Food Safety Department have issued a draft circular to restaurants in Dubai, which states that the distance between each chair should be two metres. All individuals, unless from the same family, at one table must keep two metres between each other, as per the new rules.

It’s expected that Dubai Municipality will issue further clarification in the coming days.

The requirements don’t apply to diners from the same family, ‘however there should not be any crowding’, the statement clarified. Restaurants are encouraged to install acrylic barriers between tables. Barriers are required on large tables between every four or five customers, depending on whether customers are from the same family or not.

The barriers must be higher than a person’s head when seated and wider than their torso. The requirements state that ‘the barrier should not be perforated and must have a plain surface that is easy to clean and disinfect’.

Dubai Municipality’s distancing requirements for individuals from different families dining together

Guests are required to maintain a two-metre distance throughout their time in the restaurant unless they are separated by a physical barrier. This is to prevent the spread of droplets from one person to another. Customers are reminded to maintain good hygiene such as keeping their hands thoroughly sanitised as well as wearing their face masks.

Recently, the authorities urged anyone who has had close contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case to self-isolate at home for 14 days. Even if you receive a negative test result soon after coming into contact with an infected person, you are now asked to self-quarantine for the full 14 days, to account for the two-week incubation period.

You should then take a second test on the 14th day to ensure you are clear of infection. Case numbers have increased as of late and the new measures are to ensure the cases decrease without having to return to a curfew or lockdown scenario.

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